Treasures come in all shapes and sizes. The most renowned jewels in the world are well known to many of us, locked away in their display cases for all the world to see. It turns out, however, that we might not have our hands on everything out there. Over the years, a great many treasures have been lost and whether it was at the hands of disaster, war, or human error, we might never get them back. We can only dream what these treasures might have looked like, lost forever in a place that simply can’t be found.
- San Jose Shipwreck
The biggest culprit of lost treasure is undeniably shipwreck. Over the years, a great deal of precious items have been lost to the depths and now, experts estimate that there is over $60 million worth buried at sea. Some of the most lucrative booty might have been lost during the San Jose shipwreck, which sunk in 1708. In a final battle during the Spanish succession, the boat was sunk, along with the majority of the 600 crew onboard. As well as the lives lost that day, a huge store of silver, gold, emeralds and jewels was scattered in the sea, eventually sinking just off the coast of Colombia. While the ship’s resting place has since been discovered, none of the jewels have been located, and to this day, they continue to lie in wait.
- Lake Toplitz Treasure
The Second World War was one of the most devastating in history and over the years, a great deal was lost. The site of Nazi testing grounds, Lake Toplitz was used for various activities, with locals reporting convoys of SS vehicles dumping large trunks in the lake. Years later, local diving teams stumbled across the sunken goods, uncovering piles of forged British banknotes within. The false currency had been produced in an effort to corrupt the British economy, bringing the nation down under the Nazi thumb.
- Knights Templar Treasure
As one of the most secret societies of the Middle Ages, the Knights Templar are a point of interest for many people. Above all, fans of the movement are focused on locating the treasure plundered by the group, which is said to have a total of around $1 billion. The treasure, reported to have been missing since the 14the century, is made up of gold, silver, crown jewels and sensitive religious documents. While there is no concrete evidence, many people believe that the Knights Templar congregated around Jerusalem. The search for the treasure continues but with little guiding their way, explorers are largely at a loss.
- Lost Amber Room
During WWII, the Nazis hid a great deal of treasure, hoarding goods that they had stolen from across the world. Such was the case with the Amber Room, one of the lost treasures of the period. The chamber, located in the Catherine Palace in St. Petersburg, was decked out in glowing amber and worth a fortune. During the height of the war, the room was looted by the Nazis, who took everything of worth with them. Despite its sheer size, however, no one has since been able to locate the whereabouts of the room and what was once a wonder of the world has been lost in time.
- Peking Man
Of course, not all treasures come in the same shapes and sizes. Take the Peking Man. The prehistoric bones of a man were found in an archaeological dig back in 1927. Undertaking their dig near Beijing, China, archaeologists uncovered almost an entire body that dated back 750,000 years ago. Before thorough research could be conducted, however, China went to war with Japan, packing the valuable bones away on a ship headed to the United States. On the ship’s arrival, however, the bones were never delivered, seemingly disappearing into thin air. Ever since, the bones have remained lost.